I have been observing the recent moves by a former Vice President of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is also a veteran aspirant for the office of the President. Atiku Abubakar has suddenly shifted from his subtle campaign for President to what seem to be like an almost direct campaign for the number one seat in the country. In the Social media, some sycophantic groups and individual with inspiration from their stomach have been making noise by endorsing the Turaki Adamawa-perhaps, with expectation of gratification “when the time comes”.
While I am not against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to exercise his right to aspire for the office of the President in 2019 or any office in Nigeria, I have the responsibility as a young man, a patriot and a youth leader in my own right to enlighten Nigerians and eligible voters about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy (just like I would to any other aspirant for the office).
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I shall give some reasons why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is unfit to occupy the office he is aspiring for;
1. Lack of Integrity:
During the period when he was the Vice President of the country, Atiku was appointed to chair the Petroleum Technology Development Fund by the President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. As Chairman of Petroleum Training Development Fund(PTDF), Atiku lodged over $30million and $164 in Trans International Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank respectively from the account of PTDF according to EFCC’s forensive indictment in 2006. In fact, ‘loans’ that yielded interest as high as 15% to the banks were collected from the said banks by Atiku and his proteges AFTER PTDF millions of dollars has been lodged with the illegal account. It was all business! When the deal was busted in 2006, Atiku simply said that he ‘kept the monies for safe-keeping’ and even claimed that he deserves commendation. He brought back the PTDF “capital” that he put in private account and benefited hugely from it.
Atiku Abubakar was indicted by EFCC, Senate, and a Presidential Committee. He is yet to clear his name. As usual, a court that he went to never discussed whether he was innocent or guilty, but simply said the FG Committee lacks power to investigate and indict Atiku Abubakar because they weren’t courts.
It is a shame that we are in a country where we forget easily. Otherwise, how could sane Nigerians be asking for Atiku’s Presidency when Nigerians in unison were asking for him to come out clean as for back as 2006.
Apart from the PTDF, Nigerians are yet to understand how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from a humble background became an extraordinary billionaire despite the fact that most of his productive adult life was spent in the Nigeria Custom Service.
There is also an indictment on Atiku in the USA, I am yet to see him take up the challenge to take a trip to the United States as requested by exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo in 2014.
2. Tribal Supremacism:
One of the challenge of President Buhari’s administration is that he is more aligned with his brothers in the north than with the rest of the country, hough Buhari has never hidden where is primary loyalty lies (his north). While many think Atiku is detribalised (we can only be patriotic and not detribalised anyway), the bare truth is that Atiku is a northern supremacist that believe that his northerners should always align with their own. Unlike Buhari, Atiku is pretentious about his- but his sin shall find him out.
In 2010, in their bid to stop Goodluck Jonathan from seeking the ticket of PDP in the 2011 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, Aliyu Gusau, Gen IBB and Bukola Saraki(now Senate President) all submitted themselves to Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum to come up with a consensus NORTHERN candidate to upstage Southern Goodluck Jonathan. Atiku was eventually chosen as the eventual “northern candidate” over Saraki, who wasn’t considered “northern enough” by the Ciroma led Forum. Atiku led a campaign in the north that he christened “Naka Sai Naka” meaning “Northerners go for your own”.
3. Insincerity And Deception:
Atiku is a very wealthy man no doubt, but of late we have seen a picture of him drinking sachet water aka pure water. When did Atiku start drinking such? Who is he trying to deceive? We won’t forget the N40 sacthet Milo/tea gimmicks that the Buhari campaign employed to deceive gullible Nigerians into believing that he was a “poor man”. We won’t forget the “akara” frying stunt of Mrs Aisha Buhari during the electioneering period in 2015. We should realise that when politicians are desperate, they take to any act just to impress and deceiving the gullible into giving them their votes. #NeverAgain should we be falling for such. It amounts to deception in the part of the elite to continue to use such gimmicks.
Also, Atiku has been making case for federalism and stuffs, but in ALL his years in Aso Rock as VeePee, he never initiated nor suggested such. In fact, Atiku was a very powerful VeePee between 1999 and 2003, as he was in charge of home-front while Obasanjo was travelling the world, yet he never thought of any pro-Federalism/restructuring policy. It is true that he fought against the third term agenda of Obasanjo, but we all know that he did it so that he can be able to succeed the president in 2007- he didn’t do it for Nigeria.
4. What Does He Have To Offer That He Can’t Suggest To Incumbents?
Atiku is part of the political system in Nigeria. In 1993 he ran for President, but lost to MKO Abiola in the Social Democratic Party primary election. In 2007, he ran for Presidency under Action Congress, but lost to Umaru Yaradua of PDP, and coming behing ANPP’s General Buhari. In 2011 he ran for Presidency and lost to Jonathan in the contest for PDP ticket. In 2014, he ran again but lost to Muhammadu Buhari in the APC primary, coming behind second placed Rabiu Kwankwaso. Now he is eyeing 2019! What is Atiku looking for after serving as Vice President for eight years? What did he forget in the villa that he wants to go back to get?
Atiku is already 70, he will be 73 in 2019, he is not an outsider of the system (like the American Trump), what does he have to offer that he couldn’t offer as VeePee? What stops him from sharing his “developmental” ideas to the incumbents since 1999 (considering that he was always in the incumbent parties)? What stops Alhaji Atiku from grooming younger, smarter and intelligent politician for the plum job?
Like I said earlier in my first paragraph, I am not against the right of Atiku to seek office, but I am against the idea of him becoming President. Nigeria cannot afford to continue to rotate failures and grannies. We need generational shift in leadership, we need to retire the system elite and bring him visionaries in 2019.
Nigeria has to be great for our own good, and we must make it great!